Mommy & Me Monday: Poinsettia cards

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It’s Mommy & Me Monday again! This week enjoy coloring a set of Poinsettia cards together! These could be fun to attach to gifts or send to friends & relatives who would enjoy the personal touch of a hand-colored card. I recommend printing on cardstock or a heavier paper, but nothing too glossy or it will be harder to color on. πŸ™‚

Instructions: When you click on the image above, be sure to then click on the link that says “See full size image” -or a similarly worded link – before printing. (The image you see above is actually a low resolution one and will print very small or grainy.) Cut the sheet in half along the dotted line. Then fold each piece in half at the center so one side has the poinsettia and side has the Bible verse. I envisioned the poinsettia to be on the front of the card and the verse on the back, but of course follow your creative and God-led inspirations πŸ™‚

As you color, you can talk about the legend of the poinsettia and what gifts we can give to God this year. The poinsettia’s story originates in Mexico where two poor children longed for a nice gift to leave by the baby Jesus’ manger. The story goes that as they walked to church one evening, an angel appeared to them and instructed them to pick the green weeds that were growing beside the road and place them beside the manger in the church’s nativity. The children did as they were told. After placing the weeds, the plants bloomed into these beautiful star-shaped crimson flowers before their eyes. A beautiful gift worthy of a king.

While this story is a legend, it reminds me of many stories in the Bible where God asked people to do strange things that might have gotten them embarrassed or in trouble. Yet those who obeyed saw miracles!

Jesus told the servants at the wedding in Cana to bring water to the host who had run out of wine. But before the host drank it, Jesus had turned it into wine.

Noah was asked to build an ark when a terrible rainfall like what God was predicting was unheard of then or ever since. But he built it, and the flood came.

Jesus told the lepers to go show themselves to the priest, and only as they went on their way in obedience was the leprosy cured.

Joseph was told to take Mary as his wife, even though she was already pregnant. This would have been very embarrassing to him in that day, but he believed that the baby really was from God and obeyed. And he became the earthly father of our God and Savior!

Hebrews 11 is full of more stories of those who had great faith. And we even now join them as we await Jesus’ return. We follow Him faithfully even though it has been 2000 years since He first arrived, and many people think its silly to believe that He is alive and will return, or that He was God in the first place. But we hold on to our faith that what God has said will come to pass. We continue to worship Him with our whole lives, knowing that one day our Savior will return to destroy evil once and for all. His glory truly will “shine over all the earth.” And we will join Him forever!

 

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Fun with Food Fridays: Pancake crowns!

Our pancake creations theme continues! This week let your kids decorate a crown with fruit and berries and whipped cream! If you’re new to making shaped pancakes, I suggest using a thicker recipe like the one I used – the Pioneer Woman’s perfect pancakes. (Oh so delicious) recipe here.

Pour a thick strip of batter and then, using the back of a spoon orΒ  the flat of a butter knife, drag the batter up into points. Flip pancake as usual. Consume rejects. πŸ˜‰

For decorating, I provided blueberries, strawberries cut into diamond shapes, honeydew and banana cut into tiny diamond shapes, and slivers of strawberry. But imagination is the limit! Give them anything and everything edible to decorate with and let the imaginations soar.

Enjoy!

Mommy & Me Monday: Colossians 1:17

Welcome to Mommy & Me Mondays. Take a few minutes to color with a little one in your life (or not-so-little one, or your inner-little one!) and reflect together on this week’s verse!

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible…all things have been created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

Things don’t always go the way we want or plan in our lives. From not getting the toy we wanted for our birthday, to not getting the job or house we were so hoping for, and everything in between. Sad things happen to us all and it can even feel like everything is terrible, awful, and very bad. But here is our great comfort: Jesus is Lord of everything. He made it all and holds it all together. And He is GOOD. He sees our hurt, and when we are confused or frustrated. Tell Him all about how you are feeling – He is listening! Then choose to trust Him to bring about good and perfect things in your life and in the world. The One who made the sunsets and starry skies and keeps everything moving along is watching over each of His children personally and carefully.

“Take heart, for you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

Fun with Food Friday: Griddle dragons

pancake-dragon-done

Rawr?

Please don’t eat me!

Last time we layered our way to a smaller dragon. This time we go for the close up! You can have fun with the eyebrows to make different expressions too. If you hold off on the syrup a bit and let your kids play with those eyebrows too you’ll probably earn your “fun mom” merit badge. πŸ˜€ Ooo – make him a mustache piece! Or a hat! It’s like Mr. Potato head for your pancake breakfast. If you try it, share photos!!

This guy is all about the layers. None of the shapes are particularly tough to make in themselves. The trick is to use a thicker pancake batter ( I used the Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pancakes recipe) and start with a standard circle or oval and then push or pull the batter with the bottom of a spoon to get a spike or a tip or a corner. Just start with your spoon closer to the center of the oval and lightly drag it out in the direction you want the spike or go or the corner to come out of the circle. Make lots of batter and make lots of mistakes and then (too bad) you have to eat the rejects! πŸ˜‰ And you’ll get the hang of it!

Here’s how to piece this guy together step by step!

step-1
Tangerine slices for the horns add a splash of color. I formed the crown of the head by making a crown – this is the trickiest piece. If you feel better about making a squarish piece and then using a knife to cut out the horns on top, go for it. I assure you your kids won’t care how it is done! πŸ™‚
step-1-2
Think of this next piece as a reject Mickey Mouse head. It’s a bigger circle in the middle and the two smaller ears poured so close to the first circle that they meld into it.
step-2
Banana slices and raisins for the eyes…
step-3
This new piece is the jaw, with a strawberry for a tongue. You don’t need the nobs at the top of the jaw piece – this is actually a piece I originally intended to be the top of the snout but didn’t like the size in the end so I demoted it to the bottom jaw. A simple oval with a tip on the bottom will do the trick!
step-4
Tear drop piece forms the bridge of the nose. Notice the peanut butter – edible glue. And adds a bit of protein to the meal πŸ™‚
step-5-angry
Two skinny ovals for the eyebrows! Have fun with the expressions.

pancake-dragon-done

Enjoy!

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Mommy & Me Monday: Song of Solomon 2:10

Mommy & Me Monday is back! Spend some time coloring Princess Pristina with a little one in your life and talking about God’s love together.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve heard of some problems with these coloring pages printing grainy or pixellated. To avoid this:
1) Click on the image you want to print
2) When the image pops up with the black background around it, look to the bottom right of the picture for a link that says “view image full size”.
3) Click on that link
4) When the full size image pops up, click on that one to save/print.

Please let me know if you still have trouble with them!

I think if we only understood how passionately God loves us, we wouldn’t find faith so difficult. He is not far away, not passively observing the lives of His children. No, He is so very close to each of us, and so passionately eager to be close to us. It is a mystery, to be loved like that. And because it is a mystery it’s easy to just not think about it – but we must! Read His words, His love letter to us in the Bible. Dwell on them. Pray and ask the Spirit to give you a greater understanding of the depth of His love. I used to feel like God just tolerated me because of Jesus’ sacrifice. But no, no no – He LOVES me, and all the joy and longing that implies. When you read the Scripture you feel it there in the words. Who else but a lover would go to the cross for His beloved? How else could God compare Jesus and the church to a bride and groom? Think of the person in your life who has loved you most and best. And consider how at times they have hurt you, even accidentally. Now consider that God loves you even BETTER than that person. Never failing or suppressing His love. If you are His, you are His beloved!

And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17b-19

Praise God!

Fun with Food Friday: Griddle dragon

dragon-pancake

I remember some years back a friend shared this blog with me and my mind was blown – using multiple pancakes in layers to create depth and three dimensional shapes. So brilliant! I owe the next couple of posts to the inspiration of Mr. Goudeau, master pancake maker.

I also owe these pancakes to one Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman extraordinaire, and her delicious and just-thick-enough pancake batter recipe. Too runny and there’s no control over the shapes on the griddle. But this one was just thick enough to bend to my creative whims. AND yeah, it tasted great too. πŸ™‚

Happy weekend!

Fun with Food Friday: Banana Bear

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Last week I made a little loaf of banana bread from some leftover batter. I usually do this so the kids (and I!) can have some for breakfast before taking the other normal-size loaves to someone else. Who may share with us and we’d get some more, but that is beside the point. And I mean, I have to TASTE the finished product right? Could I serve something potentially bad-tasting to a friend??

Nevermind that I have made and tested this recipe a hundred times before… but I digress.

The squatty little loaf sliced up into a shape that made me think of a bear’s face. So this one just blossomed from there. The paws pads are raisins that have been cut in half/ slivers. Tricky to work with because they stick to the knife, but I love trying to get those little details in. The eyes are crescents I cut from a banana slice, and the tongue is a bit of strawberry. Not too tricky and so fun to see the little smiles…

Enjoy!

Mommy & Me…Wednesday…

Well, Monday was one of those best-laid-plans kind of days. But I couldn’t wait till next Monday to share this one with you all! If you’re new to this series, I give you two coloring sheets – one for you and one for a younger child. Same idea, but everyone gets their own page at their level of coloring ability. πŸ™‚

And as you color together, talk about Psalm 139:9-10.

I used to travel more, and have lived in and seen some wonderful places. But I have also experienced dangers – even facing bears out in the Alaskan wilderness or encountering storms at 20000 feet over the Atlantic. And I’ve learned that fear has this way of overpowering faith if we let it. Such a powerful emotion! And yet we must keep repeating the truth to ourselves – taking every fearful thought captive and setting it in its place by stating emphatically what we KNOW is true. God never, ever abandons His children. David knew this, even though time and time again he found himself in terrible danger, being hunted by an angry jealous king Saul. David was wonderful at telling God his fears (and his angers!) and then turning to praise and thanksgiving in the end. He KNEW and clung to the truth that no matter where he was or what was happening, God’s hand was holding him. And if we belong to God, then we too can be confident that He is always just a “Help!” away…

And we know that no matter what we face in this life, God is leading us on to beauty and goodness forever in His presence. Oh glory! No matter what I’ve seen on this earth, nothing will be more glorious than that!

Fun with Food Fridays:Charging Rhinoshroomos

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My husband recently brought home some marinated portabello mushrooms for dinner. But while I was supposed to be chopping them for a sauce, in the pile in front of me I saw a rhino’s nose. They have this wonderful wrinkly triangle-tipped snout. And then I saw those fun stumpy wrinkled rhino feet! And before I knew I what I was doing, dinner was on hold and my chopping turned to carving. Not that my children minded a delay in eating a dinner that involved mushrooms…

The rhino skin is made of the portabello caps (the tops) and the horn and toes are made from the fleshy underside of the caps, and the stem. Tiny bits of strawberry make the eyes (weird flavor combo but they were out and I was in too big a hurry to remember I had red peppers in the fridge). The tall grass is made of strips of honey dew melon.

And in a surprise happy ending, my son ate the mushroom sauce. And the backup hotdogs…

πŸ™‚